The Glass Sound Speaker from Sony.

CES’ Niftiest—and Most Ridiculous—Gadgets

We scoured the tech convention to find the industry’s latest and greatest speakers, pet wearables (!) and more.

For the Audiophile

Music: Not Impossible Experiencing a live concert is one of life’s simplest pleasures, but it’s not one that everyone can enjoy. Music: Not Impossible makes it inclusive for the deaf community. Developed by Not Impossible Labs, a California-based company that creates “technology for humanity,” Music: Not Impossible is a set of wearables that allows anyone to feel the music. Vibrations are sent through the body via wrist and ankle bands and a vest equipped with sensors. Different instruments trigger different location sensors, such as bass in the lower back and guitar in the wrists. The product is still in development. —Zoneil Maharaj

Courtesy of Sony.

Sony Life Space UX Sony’s line of Life Space UX products brings the future into your living room in stunning style. The Glass Sound Speaker ($799.99) looks fragile, but blasts impeccable 360-degree audio from its illuminated glass case. The LED Bulb Speaker ($239.99) is a colorful shower of sound that plugs into a standard light socket and enlivens a room with crisp music and 192 color settings and 32 levels of brightness. Also showcased but still a prototype is the New 4K Projector – It’s All Here (price TBD). Concealed in a modern table that can be placed near any wall, the projector can cast vividly detailed images up to 120 inches with a brightness of 2500 lumens. It can stream movies, concerts, music, art and more, as well as function as a virtual reader for books and magazines. The prototype is a new version of Sony’s 4K Ultra Short Throw Projector, which is currently available for $50,000. —Z.M.

VRTIFY Where do you want to be at your next concert—front row, backstage or on stage right next to the singer? VRTIFY, a virtual and mixed reality music service provider, immerses you in a high-definition, 3D experience and has already licensed clips from bands such as Coldplay, Florence + The Machine  and Ghost. Compatible with most headsets, VRTIFY also allows users to create their own unique experience by pulling music from streaming services and choosing different environments to get lost in. Suck on that, YouTube. —Z.M.

For the Kids

Dash and Dot. Courtesy of Wonder Workshop.

Dash and Dot It’s not everyday you see a robot composing songs on a xylophone, but that’s exactly the kind of commands kids code into Wonder Workshop’s award-winning Dash and Dot. Through five apps, youngsters can program the bots to catapult projectiles, zigzag their way around obstacles, act out storybook characters and more. Everything kids do with Dash and Dot supports early methods of coding, so they learn non-stop, even as they play. —Amber Sampson

Beyond Tablet In today’s world, the almighty screen devours our attention, and we continuously feed it.  Beyond Screen’s display-less smart tablet says no more. At the drop of a game sheet over the electronic board, Beyond Tablet becomes a puzzle game to teach children spatial recognition and logical reasoning, a battleship submarine game with interactive pieces and a melody board to experiment with sound. This is the ultimate reinvention of the classic board game. —A.S.

Courtesy of Joy.

Octopus We’ve all wished the kids in our lives were more responsible, and with the icon-based watch Octopus, they just got a little closer. The watches bear more than 500 stored icons that remind kids to perform tasks. Little Timmy always forgetting to feed the cat or brush his teeth? Send a reminder through an app over bluetooth, and it’ll ping him. It’s a fun way to get kids on board with a daily routine. —A.S.

For Health and Wellness-Minded

Ava Wearables aren’t exactly new to the tech market, as we’ve been able to track our heart rate and how many calories we’re burning by simply wearing a bracelet for quite some time now. What sets the Ava bracelet apart is that its intended purpose is to detect a woman’s fertility window. Using new technology that tracks health factors such as resting pulse rate, skin temperature and perfusion (the process of supplying blood to body tissues), this product allows women to avoid the hassles of current fertility detection methods—simply wear it at night and sync the information with the Ava app. Couples looking to add to their families will be glad to know a clinical study showed the Ava bracelet was able to detect an average of 5.3 fertile days per cycle with 89 percent accuracy. —Mark Adams

Courtesy of Poof

Poof Wearables aren’t just for humans! Want to be sure your pup is getting the exercise he or she needs? Enter Poof, a tiny waterproof wearable that attaches to a collar to track calories burned and consumed by your pet, as well as sleep and resting levels. —M.A.

Taclim Billing itself as the planet’s first “VR shoes with haptic feedback,” the Taclim virtual-reality shoes allow users to have a sense of touch when experiencing the virtual world. The product gives gamers the sensation of walking on gravel or punching a shield in their favorite games. The demo was breathtaking not only for its novelty, but also because I actually got a workout from swinging at the drones attacking me. Where’s the exercise game to go along with it? —M.A.

For the Robotics Geeks

(For the family)


Jibo A homie for your home, Jibo is a “social robot” that’s part companion, part servant. Like something from a Pixar movie, the compact, swiveling pearly white stationary device interacts with families, recognizes faces and voices, is purported to respond to users with emotion, controls internet services, plays games with children, memorizes recipes and more. It’s been in development for some time—the company raised $3.7 million in crowdfunding in 2014—but hit some snags along the way. Hopefully it gets its kinks worked out and starts shipping this year. —A.S.

(For the office)

Cruzr A cloud-based service robot, Cruzr enhances work life by doing everything you don’t have time for. It can meet your clients, shake their hands, hug your co-workers, guide your customers and watch your store. It can even allow you to be two places at once. Through its app you can call into and remotely control any Cruzr in the vicinity. While not available on the market just yet, we’re willing to wait for a robot like the Cruzr. It’s the productive intern that never leaves! —A.S.

(For the kids)

Alpha1 Pro Back in the day, every kid wanted one of those Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots— those plastic boxers you pitted against each other for a frantic punch fest until one of their heads popped off and a neighbor went home crying. Ubtech calls back to those times with its latest programmable robot. The Alpha1’s fluid joint set allows it to perform complex movements, such as dancing and judo chopping other robots in the face, as smoothly as possible. In an app, you can pinpoint exactly where and what you want the Alpha1 to do in real-time. It’s also extremely durable. Should a kid ever really try to Rock ‘Em and ‘Sock Em, it can pick itself up off the floor in a compellingly human fashion. It’s clearly made for round two. Arriving early 2017. —A.S.

Stuff That No One Needs

Moikit Gene Smart Water Bottle Most water bottles have two components: A bottle and a lid. However, the Moikit Gene has a laundry list of parts, from battery to Bluetooth. The bottle’s “hydration tracking technology” connects to your Smartphone to calculate how much water you need to drink, according to weight, condition and activity level and then tracks your progress toward optimum hydration. Because life should have some achievable goals. —Lissa Townsend Rodgers

Moikit bottle.

Whirlpool Scan-to-Cook Oven Is glancing at the cooking instructions on a box of frozen pizza and punching the buttons for time and temperature on your oven just too labor-intensive? Whirlpool has found a way to heat up dinner without taxing your mental and physical faculties with their scan-to-cook technology, in which you scan the barcode on that box of frozen egg rolls with your smartphone and the phone automatically tells your oven what to do. Of course, you still have to open the box and the oven and possess the cerebral dexterity to remember to remove the plastic wrap, but it’s a step. Although such things make me wonder whether humans are going to wind up like one of those episodes of Star Trek where Kirk lands on a planet with a race that is so evolved beyond having to actually do anything that they’re just oversized brains and bug eyes with some dangling neurons and have to kidnap hapless starship captains that they can watch them brawl with alien bruisers and bang space babes just so the poor floating brains can feel something by proxy. —L.T.R.

iHome Zenergy Bedside Sleep Therapy Machine Do you have trouble going to sleep without sound effects and a light show? The Zenergy Bedside Sleep Therapy Machine will help you relax via a plastic blob with about 50 settings you need to fiddle with on your smartphone (Who cares about all of those studies telling you screentime before bedtime is bad?) before you can attempt to nod off to “focus” and “aurora” settings. There is also an option to wake up with “alarm flash,” which is blinking blue lights: I hope the Russians hack that shit and every person who has one of these wakes up in panic, thinking they’re being busted by cops at a Kmart. —L.T.R.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified Sony’s New 4K Projector – It’s All Here as being priced at $50,000. The product is a prototype and the price is currently TBD.